This past weekend saw the dreams of an underdog come true and the immense joy that it brought a whole group of people. Unfortunately, like all aspects of life, the underdog’s happiness was built on another’s extreme sorrow. Ronda Rousey lost her title to Holly Holm and in doing so saw her aura of invincibility shattered.

I’m not a huge fan of fighting, I’m not really a fan at all but my relationship choice (my boyfriend fights professionally) has plunged me into the crazy world that competitive fighting is and in doing so inspired me to try to understand it. I have so much respect for both those women on Saturday who risked everything in front of millions, and it inspired me to talk about how I risked my ego to try combat sports.(No not the same as fighting for a world title, but terrifying in its own right). 

I am never going to fight in an organized event. I hope to never fight physically ever, in fact the only thing I want to fight with is the cork on a good bottle of wine. I hate being hit, I doubt anyone likes it but I really do hate it, my boyfriend says I look like a lemur, hands down and wide-eyed searching for the figurative predator that is coming after me. However, I love hitting things, I played rugby after all. After much prompting, self-doubt, and health concerns I agreed to try boxing.

Why? Why would I attempt this terrifying whirlwind of fists, black eyes and missing teeth?

I am constantly asking clients to try new things and to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Once they get out there I want them to own it, not just exist. If I am going to make these requests I better be able to commit and expose myself to the same stress and fear.

I am somewhat of a workout snob, well somewhat would be understatement, I am a huge workout snob. I have spent the last 10 years learning about exercise and implementing my knowledge into my career as a strength and conditioning coach. I know what I am good at and tended to stick to things that made me look strong. I am cautious of trying new things for fear of looking bad. I love lifting weights and have previously frowned upon other methods that weren’t “what I did”.

I have grown a lot and realized that there are so many paths to fitness and health. Don’t get me wrong I am a form and technique drill sergeant but my experience through trying boxing has opened my eyes and made me broaden my view of “the right way to exercise”. 

There is no one size fits all for exercise, it simply comes down to doing something you enjoy, getting a good sweat on and challenging yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. I tried surf yoga this year where I literally looked like a seal trying to stay on top of a surf board only to end up falling off the other side of the board again and again. It was totally embarrassing and made me look like I had never worked out a day in my life but it was a blast. 

Since my back injury I have been very cautious of what type of exercise I choose to participate it. I have worked really hard to build up my confidence and strength to ensure that I can participate in whatever I choose but, one of the lessons I’ve learned is that you have to listen to your body. If you continue to get injured while doing the same exercise regime it is time to change it up and try something else that works better for you, or better yet hire a professional coach.

I went to my first boxing class and I was terrified. I was terrified of doing something that I knew I was going to suck at, and guess what I did suck (I mean really suck) but that was ok. I was paired up with a 16 year old kid who was very patient while I made a mess of every single combo. My mind went to every competitive sport error I have ever made, from falling on my face in a figure skating performance to dropping the ball in an important rugby game. All of them caused by anxiety at the fear of sucking. Once I realized how ridiculous I was being, especially in a recreational boxing class I snapped out of it, loosened up and laughed about how bad I was performing. This actually helped me improve (slightly) lol. I had so much fun in the end and realized I had overcome a huge fear. One of my boyfriend’s favourite quotes is “ sucking is the first step to being kind of good at something” ain’t that the truth! I have a long way before I can confidently say I am good at boxing but I have improved and have grown to love it.

A few posts back I spoke about breaking out of comfort zones in regards to food, now I want you to consider breaking out of your comfort zone with exercise. Do something different, something you have never tried. It might make you look silly at first but, you might also just fall in love with it plus get super jacked at the same time.

Sylvie (OG Lifestyles)


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